Hey yo, on my Scott Hall tip.
It’s Friday, so we’ve got an extended Quickies today. Since I have a metric crap ton of good music to get through today, here we are. As noted on IG, Quickies aren’t meant for music I just kinda rock with. They’re meant to cover the vastness of music I get on a regular basis without pissing people off with like 40 posts a day. Anywho, let’s get into today’s Extended Quickies with a few mini-reviews of some of the songs featured. This is the Elvin Bethea edition (I know my college friend Kenny would appreciate me shouting out an Oiler/Titans great). If you don’t want to read, here’s the playlist.
But, like the NBA used to say, “reading is fundamental.”
Cadeem Lamarr – “Lookout”
We’re starting this Quickies off with a Baltimore native. “Lookout” is a genre-blending track that takes influence from hip-hop, R&B, breakbeat and Baltimore club. The resulting track is one that finds you wanting to hear more from the artist, mainly because he lays himself out there for everyone to take in. He makes it known that some of those who were once close to him aren’t as such anymore because they wanted to take advantage of him and his niceties. I like the production on this one as well. If you’re looking for another avenue into Baltimore music, this one’s a great introduction to both what Baltimore can offer and who Lamarr is as an artist. Long-time readers may remember Lamarr from his track “Company” back in March 2022.
Banquet – Many Days Many Nights EP
Banquet first made their presence known to the SOTB readership with their song “Autumn Sky” from Vol. 5 of Quickies. Well, the group’s back with their EP, Many Days Many Nights, which features “Autumn Sky.” Sonically, the project is smooth, crisp and puts you in the mood to enjoy the niceness of life. From the laidback vibes of “Type 1,” through the emotional rollercoaster of “Break the Habit,” we’re given five tracks of incredible music that’s equally ready for someone to place in a study beats playlist and just a collection of music you can vibe to at any time, any place, with anyone. I especially love “Break the Habit” because it made me feel a lot of emotions at once, from happiness to sorrow to remembering I have an unbreakable spirit.
Rodoski – “Puzzled Thoughts”
A track that’s open to interpretation, “Puzzled Thoughts” is also a track that feels very boombappy while also posing a lot of questions about life. The song was originally written when Rodoski was 15. Now in his 20s, the song features on his album. I like this one because the brother’s got bars!
Franky – “PDA”
This alt-pop offering finds the Yorkshire singer coming down hard on people who just make out with their partners on the random in public. It’s a solid song because it’s clever and catchy, kind of like Lizzo’s “About Damn Time” if Lizzo sang about keeping it in your pants until you got out of the public’s eye.
Phenomeinal – “Ezekiel 10:10”
This is a boombap-friendly track which references the Old Testament and how things can seem more complex the more you look at them. Phenomeinal’s track is one that’ll have you bobbing your head and trying to catch every one of the artist’s punchlines and flows. If you need that lyrical ish in your life, this one’s a definite for me.
Soulful Playground x Moka Only – “My Grind”
The third single from this collaborative effort, “My Grind” features a distorted beat which plays well with Moka’s lo-fi lyricism. I’m looking forward to the album proper, because the songs that I’ve heard off it thus far? Yeah, man, they’re beautiful compositions that’ll keep your head swimming in thought-provoking moments. Plus, who isn’t on their grind in 2022? This one’s for those people who can’t let things stay stagnant.
Rachel Philipp – “Pisces”
An alt-pop offering that reflects the “dark and sweet nature of the Zodiac sign,” “Pisces” is one of those songs that’s for the individual in you–even if you’re a Leo, a Capricorn or a Scorpio. The Pittsburgh native’s vocals remind me of a mix between Billie Eilish and Christina Aguilera with a bit of Lana Del Rey.
Pasquale Gee – “comfortable”
I like this one because it speaks on someone starting a “new chapter in their life” over bop-friendly production. It’s catchy, but also thought-provoking as well. Sonically, it reminds me of a mix between Bazzi and Giveon, plus the song doesn’t overstay its welcome.
Aura – “Swings”
I like this one because it’s honest about mental health issues (in this case, general anxiety disorder) and appreciates the little things in life that bring us comfort and joy. Plus, like “comfortable,” it’s a bop. Sonically, she reminds me of Carter Marie mixed with Jhene Aiko.
Mark Vasquez – “Lying Awake”
Mark’s vocals are lovely on this one, a track about trying to make sense of things while in a state of constant “awakeness.” I like the relatability of this one, because I’ve been in that situation more than I’d like to admit.
Nate Rose – “Hollywood”
A track from Rose’s debut Pie at the Party, “Hollywood” is one of those songs that’s got a West Coast feel to it with a heavy dose of lyricism and bravado. Out of the two songs Rose submitted to me from the album, this is my personal favorite and makes me want to check out the album in whole.
Guilty Simpson x Jason Rose and DJ Ragz – “Make It Count”
What grabbed me about this Guilt cut is the video (above), mainly because the boombap and gritty lyrics play so well over the GI Joe imagery. Plus, the cuts from DJ Ragz speak to me.
Kwaku Asante – “Rhodes”
This easy-listening-friendly track features beautiful vocals about trying out something old instead of constantly trying something new (read: trying to settle down with the person he really loves). Asante’s vocals remind me of a mix between Giveon and Dwele. Plus, the production? It’s laidback but still emotionally rich.
AR – “Hoodrat Hoochie Mama” and “She Shut it Down”
Two tracks from AR’s Welcome to the Show Scene 2, “HHM” and “She Shut it Down” represents two sides of the same coin. On “HHM,” we find AR dealing with someone who’s fun and not really worth the time she provides. On “Shut it Down,” AR gets their “shawty is the ish” vibes going over a chipmunked sample on the hook with a bit of autotuned moments. I like the honesty AR gives us on these two songs, opting to be playful and real in the same span of songs.
Daz – “Shook Ones (Remix)”
Spitting over “Shook Ones Pt. II” is always something that’ll get my attention. I mean, the beat’s a classic. Add in hard lyrics out the you-know-what with a heavy dose of complex rhyme schemes? Yeah, this is one you should check out, mainly to hear a pretty solid take on a classic rap track.
DJ Criminal x Barfly – “It’s Easy”
This is a track from Criminal’s upcoming The Smuggler’s Candle (which is due out at the end of August). Featuring Barfly and visuals shot in Nepal, “It’s Easy” finds the turntablist/producer taking a unique sample, booming drums and a breakdown on the beat at about 2:25 to paint a picture. Said picture is one of music being something that should be given to everyone, even if we’ve got to take it.
Nightshift – “Real Friends”
A visual shot in a “fly on the wall” perspective, “Real Friends” finds the collective spitting about–what else–what’s real and what’s needed in the world (hip-hop included). I love the inventiveness of the visuals, as they also add to the potency of the lyricism provided.
Howler Honey – “Stay Awhile”
I love the lead vocals on this song, as they remind me of a mix between Lana Del Rey and Amy Winehouse. “Stay Awhile” is the SOTBMusic debut for this group and, if their debut album (which is coming soon) is anything like this, you’ll definitely find them on the site again. The lyrics are more about finding positivity and making it through a shift in energy. Plus, I’m a sucker for a slick guitar solo.
Munkey Junkey – “Beginning”
A song about reincarnation and the idea that “given enough lives…you might as well be everyone,” since we’re ultimately going through countless lives. I like the trippy production and the laidback flow MJ employs on this song. If you want some laidback alt-rap, this one’s for you.
Steven Charlot – “Sleeping Beauty”
I like this one, mainly because it’s honest and delves into a relationship that isn’t toxic, but isn’t exactly healthy either. It’s more about one person being indifferent to the other coming back around, even though they were the one who said “I want to see other people.” Plus, it’s groovy.
Moonman – “ode”
A song that’s equal parts ode to hip-hop and an ode to childhood, this one is one of those nostalgic tracks that’ll take you back to back in the day while trying to figure out how you got to where you are now (for better or worse). I like the chorus (and how it matches the cover art), as during childhood, we all shed our share of tears. I also love the production, as it’s mellow but reflective, like early-era Mac.
This isn’t all the Quickies for today, but it’s a healthy dose of what’s piqued my interest thus far today. Check them all out via the playlist above and support dope music in all its forms.